Email re #UCDavis Graduate Student Assembly #OccupyUCDavis

Just received this email:

A demonstration and general assembly has been called on Monday Nov 21, at Noon in the Quad in response to the use of force by police on campus.  Please send this announcement to your graduate group or department list serves.

As many have seen there have been multiple demonstrations at UC Davis and other UC campuses this week.  At UCD on Thursday demonstrators set up a camp on the quad where about 25 tents and 60 people stayed the night.  On Friday at around noon the Chancellor issued an order that the camp be disassembled. At 3 pm officers entered the quad to disperse the camp. Pepper spray was used liberally and arrests were made.  News coverage shows part of this police action:,0,1876312.story

On Saturday, the Chancellor held a press conference where she called for a review and students held a silent vigil as she exited  This situation is attracting national and international news attention.

These events and images are shocking and we want to make sure that all graduate students are aware of steps being taken by both students and the administration in its aftermath.  Please share this announcement with your departments and graduate groups.  These incidents will be on the Graduate Assembly agenda for the November 30th meeting.

Thank you,

Graduate Student Assembly
Executive Council

Letter to Chancellor Katehi from Emilio Bruna, #UCDavis PhD from 2001 now Prof. at U. Florida #OccupyUCDavis

Another letter – this one from UC Davis Alumnus Emilio Bruna, a Prof. at University of Florida. Bruna got his PhD from Davis in 2001.

Chancellor Katehi,

I am appalled by the images of the actions taken by police against student protestors. I fear you have lost sight of what is perhaps our most important responsibility as faculty members – to teach students to think critically and become engaged and responsible citizens.  If our doing so leads them to a path of peaceful civil disobedience as a means to drawing attention to a cause in which they believe, then you of all people must ensure that they have the means to both do so safely.  As Chancellor the responsibility for the violence perpetrated against students by the UCDPD is ultimately yours, as is the power to help our campus community recover. I encourage you to be bold –  apologize at the least, resign if you must – but act, and do so quickly.

Even in the darkest times there is hope – Fiat Lux.

Emilio Bruna
Ph.D., Center for Population Biology (2001)

Emilio M. Bruna, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation &  Center for Latin American Studies
Associate Editor, Biotropica

Grand – Google Trends shows the link in searches between "pepper spray" and "UC Davis"

Definitely not the search engine trends UC Davis was hoping for.

AggieTV (@AggieTV) video report on the press conference yesterday re #OccupyUCDavis

Aggie TV report on the Saturday Press Conference at UC Davis

Kudos to @AggieTV for the Scoop / Interview with #UCDavis Chancellor Katehi #OccupyUCDavis

Interview with UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi by AggieTV

Jason Bell – #UCDavis PostDoc continues his "Open Letter" re: #OccupyUCDavis incident #powerful

Text removed at the request of Jason Bell

Letter from Prof. Phil Ward to Chancellor Katehi re pepper spray incident #OccupyUCDavis

Another letter.  This one from Prof. Phil Ward, ant guru from the Entomology Department.  It was a follow up to the one I posted earlier from Prof. Art Shapiro.

Dear Chancellor Katehi,

I share Art Shapiro’s concerns about the damage this incident has done to UC Davis. This was the most widely read and widely shared story on BBC News online today, exceeding in “popularity” the protests in Cairo and the repeat neutrino experiment.

At a minimum I urge you to promptly assume responsibility for the police action and to offer a full, unreserved apology to the university community, as well as an assurance that there will not be a repeat of this shameful event. Beyond that there is much additional fence-mending to be done.


Philip S. Ward
Professor of Entomology
Department of Entomology and
Center for Population Biology
University of California at Davis

Letter from Prof. Artyom Kopp to Chancellor Katehi re; #OccupyUCDavis Pepper Spray incident

Another open letter to the UC Davis Chancellor from a colleague. This one is from Artyom Kopp, an evo-devo guru, also in the Evolution and Ecology Department.

Dear Chancellor Katehi,

I live such a sheltered life that I was not even aware of Friday’s events until yesterday, when messages started piling up in my mailbox from students, faculty colleagues, and friends and colleagues at other universities. I did not support the student protests because I believed them to be misdirected and therefore ineffective. When I first saw references to “police brutality” at UC-Berkeley, I assumed in my cynical fashion that it was the usual attention-grabbing ploy by the protesters. I was wrong. I finally watched the videos last night and what I saw can only be described as outrageous and disgusting. Quite aside from being morally indefensible, cold-blooded use of excessive force against peaceful and essentially orderly protesters has done enormous damage to our university’s reputation and will undermine the trust between the administration, faculty, and students for a long time.

During your short tenure at UC – Davis, you have done much to start turning this university around. You earned a lot of respect among the faculty for speaking plainly, facing up to our problems, and making hard decisions – something that the previous administration seemed incapable of doing. All that is now in jeopardy because of one ill-judged decision. I am aware that many faculty members are calling for your resignation. I am not ready yet for such a drastic step, as I have a deep appreciation for your accomplishments as well as your interaction style. However, the fact remains that this outrage was committed by the university police acting under your direction. Whoever gave the order to use force, ultimately this is your responsibility. What matters now is your response, and I need hardly tell you that your actions in the next couple of days will shape not only your legacy but also the spirit of our university.

An error does not become a mistake until one refuses to correct it. In this case, we are long past damage control or task forces, and the 30-day timeline for addressing a rapidly developing situation is unacceptable. I urge you to apologize, in person, to the victims of police brutality, to identify the failures in the decision-making process that led to the use of force, and to take all necessary steps to make sure this is never repeated. I am sure you understand by now that this is not “an incident”, but one of the defining moments in our history. It will not die down or be swept under the rug; neither the students nor the faculty will let it go. Our future depends on how, and how quickly, you respond. I am afraid you have only the briefest window of time before the damage becomes irreparable. One small part of that damage will be my own confidence in your ability to lead our university.


Artyom Kopp

Department of Ecology and Evolution 
University of California – Davis

Special meeting of #UCDavis Graduate Student Association to be held Tuesday re #OccupyUCDavis

Just got forwarded this email and thought it would be worth posting. The UC Davis Graduate Student association is planning a meeting on Tuesday regarding the recent pepper spraying incident. Hope it is OK to post (one person said it was …).
Special Meeting of GSA Representatives

Tuesday November 22, 2011

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Location: TBA

There has been much activity by students, faculty and the
administration in response to the police action on campus. The GSA
executive committee met today to discuss how to develop a GSA response on behalf of graduate students. We are deeply concerned about these events and we have seen multiple calls for action from many different people and groups in response. The GSA must also respond to these events, address campus safety and bring attention to the broader concerns that have spurn demonstrations – the roll back of funding to public education and tuition hikes.

We are calling a special meeting on Tuesday November 22 at 6pm to discuss the GSA’s position and develop proposals for action that will be ultimately submitted to the UC Davis Administration on behalf of graduate students. This meeting will be facilitated to generate and discuss what items will be placed before the representatives at our regularly scheduled meeting on November 30th. The proposals developed will be voted on for inclusion in the GSA response.

Individual graduate groups and departments may be organizing their own responses. We encourage you to discuss with your fellow students what they want to have in a GSA response. Bring proposals to this special meeting and/or forward them to the GSA secretary by 3pm Tuesday.

Representatives, who are not able to attend, please send your
designated alternative.